Copyright information ‘Hub’ set to be launched to educate on intellectual property 

A one-stop-shop website about rights ownership and copyright licences has been announced by the government.

Minister for Intellectual Property Lord Younger has earmarked £150,000 of funding for the new ‘Hub’ designed to make it easier for consumers and would-be entrepreneurs to obtain information about copyright.

Professor Ian Hargreaves, in his review of IP and growth in May 2011, recommended that the UK should establish an industry-led solution to improve copyright licensing. He estimated that it could add up to £2.2 billion a year to the UK economy by 2020, with a particular benefit to the creative industries.

Related: How to contend with intellectual property infringements as a small company

The Hub, which will be designed and built by industry, will act as a source of information about rights ownership to support open and competitive markets for copyright licences.

This is hoped to cut costs for businesses by creating a more efficient online marketplace where those looking to use copyright works in new creations or services, for example a company providing a multimedia service for a wedding, will have access to a greater range of licensing options, through the Hub, in a straightforward online transaction.

Lord Younger says, ‘The Copyright Hub will simplify copyright licensing for consumers and I am delighted to announce this funding to enable industry to begin their work.

‘Databases of copyright works such as those held by collecting societies and publishers, and designs such as the Register of Designs at the IPO already exist. However, government has listened to concerns that consumers are unsure who they should go to if they are looking for information about obtaining a licence, particularly if multiple rights are involved.’

Kevin Fitzgerald, CEO of the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) says, ‘CLA are keen supporters of the Copyright Hub because it will simplify access to copyright works, benefiting both consumers and creators. And that will have a positive economic impact on the whole UK economy.’

Early copyright a must for bright business ideas

Budding entrepreneurs and aspiring small business owners should patent any bright ideas as soon as possible, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has suggested.

According to FPB, copyright ‘can’t come early enough’ especially where the idea may be at risk of being imitated.

A simple and effective way of protecting an idea is to get a dated copy of a document, outlining the idea, and post it to yourself, leaving it sealed. This can act as a copyright as it will clearly show the date it was written.

Matt Hardman at FPB says: ‘You really can’t underestimate the importance of making sure what you’re doing is protected and that you’re not trampling on the toes of others who have protected their own, similar work.’

He adds: ‘If you think that your idea is particularly innovative, and at high risk of being copied or imitated in a way that might be detrimental to it, then of course you’ve got to act almost immediately.’

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Intellectual Property

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